During the California gold rush, a young woman travels to the west coast to live with her uncle. When she arrives she discovers he has been killed by the natives and his identity and property taken by a notorious outlaw.
Stars Mary Pickford
Produced and Directed by Cecil B Demille
An Artcraft Picture
June 9, 2014
Who's Kidding Who Here?
This 1917 C.B. DeMille full length western produced in early 1917 was a major hit for him with Mary Pickford as the star. It took me three tries to actually get into the picture, but once I settled into it, the story got to be quite good in a strange sort of way. Don't rely much on historical values here, it's a movie first of all. Mary Pickford is not my cup of tea but I can see how her demur projected innocence and her sometimes wild histrionics and her ability to pull on the heart-strings worked for her. I had never seen this film before and when you get to the end of the film, you will understand why I titled this review the way that I did.
Mary Pickford was paid $96,000 plus dollars to make this film. The entire budget for the film was only 135,000 dollars all totaled. I don't know whether hers was all up-front money or not, but the film grossed better than $425,000 in 1917 dollars and that ain't hay, pard.
The leading man, Elliot Dexter was pretty good as the outlaw scoundrel pretending to be Mary's uncle. Other faces you may recognize in the uncredited cast, maybe from sound pictures later on are Tully Marshall as Sam Sparks, Raymond Hatton as ill-fated Dick Roland, and lanky Nelson McDowell. They and others also did excellent work.
It is however a DeMille film and there is where the credit goes. His early use of sweeping vistas and Indians and wagon trains is patented DeMille. Demille also co-wrote the film and his humor, however sly is sometimes in evidence, especially at the end. Remember this was for a 1917 audience. Good picture quality. For Buffs and everybody else